One day, when old sister traveled into the forest to gather firewood to boil the starch pot. Younger sister was in the yard, putting the starch in the tub of water. The sparrow, the komi spirit for the earth, sang to the younger sister.
“You good-for-nothing bird, I’ll show you. You get food and water you don’t deserve!” The younger sister grabbed her knife and threw at the sparrow. The knife splashed into the tub of the starch, which spilled everywhere. To the innocent sparrow, the younger sister yelled, “Never return, I will cut your tongue out.”
When older sister returned with the wood, no sparrow flew from the trees to greet her. “Sister!” called old sister, “Where is my sparrow?”
The younger sister replied, “Sparrow? That worthless bird drank all the starch for the washing tub, so I snipped its tongue. The bird flew away crying, ‘Chun, Chun.’”
“What a mean thing to do?” Cried, old sister. “I must go at once to apologize to the sparrow. She is a spirit of our earth” Leaving for the mountain, old sister wrapped her cloak around her for warmth and used her cane for balance. “Chun, Chun?” She called as she walked up the mountain path.
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